And other transition talk too, under the cut.
"The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again."
I spent last few weeks traveling the land in search of the most exciting new businesses whose names are simply two random nouns linked together by ‘+’ or ‘&’.
Here are some of my favorites.
Whale + Tortoise: Sells many types of custom-crafted wax products. The owner has not been seen since 1847, despite the fact that the store opened late last year. Nobody understands how this works.
Couch & Gentry: This place only sells antique Bunsen burners. The decor is reclaimed wood. All employees wear two pieces of a three-piece suit.
Grease + Gable: The leading purveyor of pasta-based art.
Crane + Cable: This is one of those places that only sells olive oil. Nobody shops here, not even people who are really into olive oil.
Butter & Frenzy: Specializes in apocryphal Biblical texts decorated with puffy paint. All employees dress like Cub Scouts.
Rhapsody + Rust: Easily the hottest place to get brunch or something.
Tradecraft + Toast: If you are able to to track down the secret location and the password, this is the last known Crazy Eddie location in the world. His prices are no longer insane.
Driftwood + Blame: This place sells ships in bottles. Except they are not ships in bottles. They are scenes from Busby Berkeley films staged with old GI Joe figures. Do not make direct eye contact with the owner.
Heartache & Brine: Only sells kombucha laced with with antidepressants. All employees are dressed like 19th century pharmacists except they are inexplicably also nude.
Oxen + Shoes: This place was a Laser Tag arena for some reason.
Nickels + Mercy: This is a great place to buy recycled artist’s statements from MFA dropouts at a premium.
Farm & Fable: A gluten-free daycare facility for the children of celebrities.
Spindle & Lies: This was simply the most charming greeting card store I’ve ever seen in my life. The staff were easily the friendliest people to sit behind a cash register. They only sold condolence cards for deceased cousins. I did not ask.
Philosophy + Thumbs: An artisanal bakery for assholes. I refused to enter.
Hedgehog & Rye: A pet store/bourbon bar. All employees are required to have “ironic” allergies to domestic creatures.
Vikings + Spelt: A thrift store where all stock is leftover giveaway items from Los Angeles Bar Mitzvahs in the early 1990’s.
Dwindle + Corn: I am not certain, but I believe they specialized in handcrafted lava lamps powered by regret. Employees only spoke in Bosnian palindromes which caused me to have a panic attack. I left immediately.
Murder & Brass: A strange name for an aerobics gym, to be sure. Until I discovered the fact that all classes are based on the movie Clue. I highly recommend Colonel Mustshakeyourbooty as a teacher.
Mist + Mercury: Sells custom Segways that are modified to look like old hot rods. I assume that someone will firebomb this place someday.
Ratchet + Crow: I am uncertain as to the nature of this business as it appeared to be members only. I spent several hours with my ear pressed up against the door. At hour four, I heard what sounded like a large bear sobbing, which is a sound that I did not believe to exist.
JUST IN TIME FOR THE SKELETON WARS!
YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? GRAB YOUR CUTE LITTLE ASS AND PREPARE YOURSELF FOR SOME GODDAMN AUTUMN-THEMED COOKING!
FIRST ON THE MENU IS SOME EASY-AS-HELL SPICED-CIDER-POACHED-APPLES.
WHY DO THIS THING?
BECAUSE SOMETIMES A MAJESTIC MOTHERFUCKER WANTS HOT SPICED CIDER AND SOME DELICIOUS POACHED APPLES AT THE SAME FUCKING TIME!
STEP ONE: GRAB YOUR MIGHTY WEAPON AND FORGE DEEP INTO THE HEART OF THE DARK FOREST. PLUCK YOURSELF A RED APPLE OR A DOZEN - ALL IS RELATIVE IN THE EYES OF THE UNDYING, UNENDING UNIVERSE.
IF YOU HAVE THE TIME, PRESS THE APPLES INTO A GLORIOUS CIDER, AND A GOLDEN JUICE FROM WHENCE EVEN GODS WOULD PLEAD A TASTE.
DENY THEM! THIS IS BY MORTAL HANDS, FOR MORTAL MOUTHS.
ALTERNATELY, PURCHASE SOME CIDER FROM YOUR LOCAL MILL (lay down an offering to the orchard spirits in thanks) AND SOME APPLE JUICE WHEREVER YOU NORMALLY CAN OBTAIN IT.
SCRUB THE APPLES FIERCELY, TO REMOVE ALL EVIL TAINT THAT MAY REMAIN.
HOWEVER MANY APPLES YOU WANT COOKED, PUNCH THEM INTO CHUNKS ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR THUMB KNUCKLE.
WHILE EXAMINING YOUR KNUCKLE TO GET A SIZE IN MIND, CACKLE IN DELIGHT THAT YOU HAVE OPPOSABLE THUMBS AND CAN DO SUCH THINGS LIKE COOK AND WRITE AND APPROVE OF THINGS FROM AFAR.
FIND A POT BIG ENOUGH TO HOLD THOSE APPLE CHUNKS, AND USE THE POWERS OF YOUR MIND TO BLAST THE FUCKERS RIGHT INSIDE.
USING EQUAL PARTS CIDER AND HOLY APPLE JUICE, FILL THE SPACES AROUND THOSE FRUIT BITS UNTIL THEY START TO FLOAT A LITTLE.
THIS NEXT PART WILL REQUIRE DISCRETION FROM THE CHEF. DONT FUCKING DUMP SHIT IN - SPRINKLE SOME ON THE SURFACE AND MOVE ON.
YOU WANT TO ADD SOME NUTMEG, CINNAMON, GINGER, CRUSHED CLOVES (OR WHOLE ONES, BUT YOU’LL HAVE TO FISH THEM OUT LATER.) AND A FEW DROPS OF VANILLA EXTRACT.
HOWL AT THE MOON, YOU GLORIOUS BEAST, BECAUSE IF YOU POSSES IT, YOU CAN ALSO ADD A DOLLOP OF CARAMEL TO THIS CONCOCTION!
KEEP THIS CREATION ON ‘HIGH’ UNTIL IT STARTS SEETHING IN FRUSTRATION, THEN TURN IT DOWN TO THE LOWEST YOU CAN.
LET IT SIMMER ON LOW FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES - A LITTLE LONGER IF YOUR APPLE CHUNKS AREN’T SOFT YET.
REMOVE FROM THE HEAT, AND STRAIN OUT THE POACHED APPLES.
WHAT CAN THESE FACE-SMASHINGLY GOOD PIE-INSIDES DO FOR YOU? TOP YOUR ICE CREAM, OR YOGURT, OR CEREAL. FUCK, EAT THEM RIGHT OUT OF A BOWL.
SLIDE THEM ALL SEXILY NEXT TO A STEAK, OR STIR THEM UP WITH A BIT OF BACON BITS NEXT TO YOUR EGGS.
WHEN YOU’VE DECIDED WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK YOU’RE GOING TO DO WITH ALL THOSE POACHED APPLES, YOU HAVE SPICED APPLE CIDER TO GO WITH IT!
imagine a video game where you create a hero whose destiny is to save everyone, but throughout the game you start making harder and more questionable decisions, and the game gets darker and darker. and in the end you’re just standing there, clutching the controller and finally realizing you were playing the villain all along